Bankok/Vietnam trip report

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Jan 8th, 2007, 04:47 PM
  #1
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Bankok/Vietnam trip report

Well got back Sat from Saigon. We started out in Bangkok. what an amazing place. The Grand Palace, thanks Kathie, was to die for. We spent 21/2 hours or more there. Gold that shimmers in the sun, giant spires guarded by huge jewel covered man/creatures, wow!!! We then had lunch from a street vendor and then walked to the Giant reclining Budda wat(forgot name of wat) Wow! Wow! Both these sites alone would be worth the trip to Bangkok! We traveled from our hotel, the new milinium Hilton by river taxi down to the Grand Palace. This hotel is very nice, good location right next to a market that is busy all day and most of the nite. Kind of fancy, could have stayed at cheeper place but my buddy had two free nights from his business travels. We stayed on for the duration of our Bangkok trip at the hilton because of the location and the hastle of moving around, less time for site seeing! THe river ride was lots of fun and a great start to the trip. We also could not stop eating all the food! Did not go to any particular resturant listed, just ate anywhere we saw food. Street food, little resturants, wherever and it was all very, very good! Had the best Panang (sp) curry with chicken!! I will never forget the extra rich creamy gravy and tons of fresh basil leaves. Wat Arun across the river frome Grand Palace is also a very special place. No gold like the beyond belief Grand Palace, but rather made from little ceramic tiles, so wonderful! One morning we all woke up very early, 3am! No one could sleep any more so we took a taxi to the local bus station. We told the man at the kiosk "floating market" and got a one way ticket for about 3-4 dollars. In two hours we were coasting in a small long boat with a very fast motor down narrow canals with vendors selling everything. Had a great and very hot and spicy bowl of noodles. Great crafts, Kathie bought a great clasic Thai puppet with gold and jewels. Had a beer later, 9 in the morning, but who cares?! Fresh frut, and coconut juice right out of the coconut!
Vietnam was our next venture. Flew from Bangkok (the morning of the bombings we found out later) on Thai Air Asia. This is a great way to go. One way to Hanoi was about 90 us dollors. Hanoi, well can I say motor scooters! They are everywhere and you have to watch were you walk. The trick is to walk slow, don't look at the scooters racing toward you, and don't make any sudden moves. The scooters just swerve around you. We made it everytime! The next morning we had a van pick us up from the hotel, Soffetel Hanoi and take us the three hours to halong city. We then borded a large wooden boat, don't know if it was a "junk" 16 of us sailed out, were served three meals, spent the nite in a cove, sea kayaked into a sea cave, and watched the full moon on the top deck. We just booked from a shop in downtown Hanoi, there are shops to book from all over town. They show you the pic of the boat, the cost $35 per person! Then you give them your hotel info, and the van pics you up in the morning!! What a deal, three real good meals and overnight in a nice cabin. THis was an average boat, other boats that are more fancy can be booked for $80-150 depending on your style.
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Jan 8th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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AH-glad you had a nice time. Sounds like Bangkok has enchanted another Farang. We agree that staying on the river is the best way to go in BKK. Sure, one could save some Baht, but it is so nice. I think the space of the river keeps one from BKK claustrophobia. Penalty avoided.
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Jan 8th, 2007, 05:40 PM
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Ok rest of trip was in Saigon. What a wonderful city. Hanoi was also a great place. Just walked around the city, took a hydrofoil boat down the river and ate the most wonderful food! Pho or beef noodle soup, spring rolls, both at resurants and from street vendors is the way to go. Visited my friends family and they cooked two great feasts for us! More pho, spring rolls, a whole chicked stuffed with four different kinds of mushrooms and lotus seeds! Well I would go back to Bangkok and Vietnam anytime, both places are out of this world and such rich places both for food and culture!
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Jan 8th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip - so glad you loved it!!
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Jan 8th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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great report thanks
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